Fifteen years ago a newsagent making his first ever public speech on the rostrum in front of 300 fellow newsagents at the NFRN Annual Conference in Torquay, made a statement that has been proven so many times over the recent years as being the only strategy that will cement the News Trade as being a continued success.

The man stated “there are three players on the news trade field, the Publishers, Wholesalers, and the Independent Newsagent”, this is no boxing match, but the only way forward is working together!

Working together would benefit everyone, but its not happening, hasn’t for so many years, what we have is Publishers dictating, Wholesalers obeying, and the Independent Newsagents being ripped to smithereens, forcing many to walk away. Can anyone within the News trade Industry honestly say this is not happening?

The story is true, I know I was that Newsagent, and everyone including Publishers and Wholesalers in the conference centre stood on their feet and applauded ! So why has it NOT happened?

We can all blame each other, it’s too easy to look for excuses, but everyone has their own opinions why sales continue to fall each month. Some will say people are changing their reading habits, and point the finger to the new “technology” of computers, the I-pads, and the mobile phones, others blame the publishers for producing newspapers which are no longer value for money. The phone tapping scandal will also been blamed, but despite what ever one believes, the daily read will always be needed on the breakfast tables, providing we all act now.

The stark reality of it all is surely this: the news trade has to turn the corner and get its house in order. We have now come to the point of NO return, the situation can no longer continue in its present format, and the fingers are solely aimed in the Publisher and Wholesalers direction.

Over the recent years in the News Trade Industry, the Independent Newsagents all over the Country have suffered alarmingly, terms slashed, carriage charges gone through the roof, to a point where the Industry is losing the most important “cog” on the news trade wheel

In particular, the HND service has taken a major setback, with good HND newsagents being SHAFTED with trade terms being reduced that has crippled the professional home news delivery service that their customers have been accustomed too, which has in many cases fallen by the wayside. This has led to a number of Newsagents ceasing trade and with no new owners coming forward not only does the regular customer lose out, but more alarmingly; it becomes a permanent loss to the whole news trade.

Its now OCTOBER 2016, and the bubble has finally burst where we Newsagents CANNOT and WILL NOT BE RIPPED apart by greedy publishers anymore.

Last week we had the TELEGRAPH increasing the weekday price by 20p and at the same time they cut terms to 21.50%, because they have to be in line with their opposition the TIMES !

This week it’s the Daily Mail who despite the fact its the first rise for five years on the Saturday edition, the increase of 10p (£1) is still insufficient for them, that the only way forward was to take another 0.4% from our margins yet again. You can afford that Webbo! What’s 0.4% between friends? That being the case why take it? PURE GREED!

Whose next to inform us well that money (our money) will be invested into the future of the paper?, ( use your own money) who next will have the audacity to ask for our names and addresses of our customers so they can revert them to have their vouchers and be their customers?

So what can we do? Simple solution, but first we all need to be rowing the same boat in the same direction, it’s us against them now, they don’t want to be level headed, just the opposite, they are the little “Hitler’s” and we either take it or walk away!

WRONG, IT STOPS NOW, and together it can and will be achieved.

Everyone in the news trade knows me, everyone knows that after being in the business everyday for the past 58 years I’m probably the most experience person around, its not being pig headed, just a pure fact, I know the industry inside out, and believe me we Newsagents are being ripped off mercifully, simply because before this moment they could get away with what ever they wanted.

So before I go on as to what we can do, let me just tell you all that at 71 I don’t have to do this, but I care about everyone who is in the trade of selling newspapers. I have a good news business, employ 16 staff, the new postal service I started in March 2014 is booming big time, that I’m dreading the Christmas period approaching! I’m also in charge of HNDA Ltd, where we have near 3000 members, who pay no membership fee, but on a daily basis we help members with any issue they have within the industry. I’m available to them 24/7, and yes it’s FREE!

I have a number of good professional people around me, none my so than the gentleman I have spoken to this morning, a previous newsagent who was the President of the NFRN at a time when Presidents were chosen by professional knowledge and ability to succeed. This man probably was the best National President ever, whereby both Publishers and indeed wholesalers listened and co-operated with his decisions during his reign as NP. The NFRN was never more powerful when this guy was number one, so people understand where I’m coming from when I take this man’s advise.

He said Webbo, why do you want the hassle? but yes HNDA is the only way forward for every retailer concerned, not just HND newsagents but everyone involved within the retail side of the industry.
“The only chance for success for the future is for everyone to be on the same side. I had as president some 26,000 members behind me, so your 3000 my boy is a long way off to succeed.

So here’s the plan, some might say it’s audacious but believe me it’s the only way forward, so come and join me at HNDA, I have no intention of changing the name even though our organisation is now open to any retail newsagent within the trade, that’s hnda.org.uk and become a member, its FREE and together we can have a brighter future if our so called partners want to work with us!

NO MORE Re-RUNS, NO MORE late supplies, NO MORE TERMS CUTS, NO MORE CARRIAGE CHARGE INCREASES, etc, and a organisation that will support you 24/7 with any matter within our industry. Ask any HNDA member, we are here for you. I hear you say no more RE-RUNS? If they do then they pay us instead of us LOSING MONEY THROUGH THEIR FAULT! We are NOT losing money ANYMORE, the buck stops NOW!

Simply fill in the form (hnda.org.uk) and if you DONT do HND deliveries just fill in the amount of newspapers you handle each day, this gives us the ammunition when we are meeting Publishers. The decision is yours, just remember together we can succeed, stay as we are and we will always be shafted by greedy Publishers and Wholesalers. Check us out everyday on Twitter to see what’s going on in the news trade @hndanews.

Thanks for listening! Its decision time for you, and quite frankly it’s an easy one to make!
Brian Webb.
HNDA Ltd.